Any purist POV's out there? 2 speakers vs. 7.1

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Drewlsy, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. Drewlsy

    Drewlsy New Member Thread Starter

    fresno, ca
    Am I guilty of stepping out of the so-called 'conventional' box because I prefer to listen to my vinyl with
    my receiver set to 7.1 channels rather than stereo (2 speaker standard), thereby utilizing all seven speakers in a surround-sound setting?

    Does this buck conventional standards -- whatever this might be if it even exists -- is there a "purist" way of listening to vinyl both in terms of the past in it's technological limitations and the present with it's over-powered pre-amps, hi-end speakers, and all-in-one audio receivers?

    Is this sacrilege? Or, is it accepted in modern-day ?

    I justify my choice because of budgetary constraints along with liking it. I can't afford the hi-end tube pre-amp and hi-end receiver I've dreamt of in order to power two exceptional hi-end speakers (that I also dream of). Think Devore speakers; you only need two angled at you!

    So I came up with other means of "hi-fidelity" or audio immersion.

    Btw, I tried to just use the two speakers but it's just not as satisfying.
  2. Kristofa

    Kristofa Car Scratch Melt Repeat

    Pacific Northwest
    Are you talking about through a AVR surround processor like Dolby Pro Logic II or Dolby Surround, etc.?

    There isn’t really anything pure or high fidelity about doing that, but it sure can be fun and produce exciting results! I imagine most on this forum would turn their nose up at it, and that’s okay for them.

    It really depends on the acoustics of your listening space. Sometimes stereo can produce the same effects in a room, and sometimes processing through pseudo multichannel can surpass it. When I was working in my living room during the first year of the pandemic, I had two huge computer monitors blocking a direct path to my speakers, and running music through Dolby Surround really did some great things and made listening to music while I worked far more enjoyable. Vinyl isn’t any different, just a different format.

    I even made a playlist in Roon of tracks that sounded really cool through Dolby Surround so I could revisit them.

    Enjoy what you got and enjoy listening to it the way you want and ignore the word sacrilege. :)
  3. bhazen

    bhazen Abbey Roadhog

    Newport Hills, WA
    There is no wrong way to enjoy music. Purists shouldn't have any part in your decisions.

    I'm perfectly happy with plain old stereo (or mono) myself, but I'd like someday to hear what you're talking about. I don't think I've ever heard a 7.1 system, actually.

    I know so many people who only listen now via little bluetooth speakers, which to me is a shame ... but as long as they're genuinely enjoying music, what else matters?
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
    Dave and Kristofa like this.
  4. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    I would really like to hear a very good immersive system, 11.1. I could imagine how that experience could lead to someone abandoning their two channel set up. But there is no way I would or could get away with filling up a room with all of that equipment.
    bhazen likes this.
  5. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    To me it's not that there is anything at all wrong with listening to two channels played back using my own 7.2 system.
    As a matter of fact I specifically built that room setup to play 5.1 SACD and DVD-A multichannel.
    So music playback and multichannel are FINE in my book.

    My 7.2 setup is a super good system with excellent sound quality---Def Tech monitors with two 15 inch subs in an excellent room for acoustics.
    Hearing true multi-channel 5.1 music in that room with something that was recorded for multichannel is almost a religious experience, haha.
    It can sound more like "Stereo" than my best stereo can sound---and it makes me wish multi-channel could have been used for every recording made---mono/two channel and Edison cylinders included.

    But they WEREN'T done that way---they were done either mono or stereo unless they are fairly recent and done specifically for play in multichannel---which is rare compared to the hundreds of thousands NOT done that way.
    And it messes up my two channel playback so badly I never play two channel in that room because it sounds sub-optimal.

    Why? Why do I say it sounds sub-optimal?
    Because when played through a big beautiful two channel system those same two channels (or MONO, if it is MONO) already HAVE "surround sound."
    And it is the "surround sound" that was deliberately put on that recording and it works perfectly to sell the performance properly.
    Even MONO has a "sound" that is dimensional in a well designed system.
    And it is the natural room sound already recorded into the track or tracks...

    But play that same mono or two channel back with a lot of "extra" channels and the "surround effect" is not nearly as well done as it is done using just two speakers.
    Heck I find that MONO sounds best with ONE SPEAKER!
    The location of instruments, the hall sound, the presence of the singer---all that is REDUCED when there are extra speakers playing it.
    It sounds blurred.
    It doesn't sound "right" any more.
    That natural acoustical sound of the original recording is much more convincing and makes for a better performance in my book.

    My two cents---my experience---my systems.
    The Pinhead and Ingenieur like this.
  6. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    I have a 5.1 Yamaha (RX-V990) with the Pro-Logic circuitry. For music, I turn the effects off and get 2-channel which I prefer 90+% of the time for music. But I've messed with the different effects for years and many live performances sound better with Pro-Logic. I don't use subs so it's really 2-channel vs 5-channel. People should listen to music so they get the most enjoyment from it.
    The Pinhead and Doctor Fine like this.
  7. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SUDACA ROÑOSO

    You're only ¨guilty¨of listening in the way you like it better. Whatever floats YOUR boat man. From a guy who hates surround for music.
  8. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member

    Los Angeles CA USA
    YES. You will burn in audio hell, being flagellated for all eternity by ever-more-expensive, ever-more-heavy exotic cables, wielded by imp demons, all the while regaled by highly compressed and auto-tuned distorted music at a volume annoyingly weaving in and out of audiblity. But meanwhile, enjoy!
    The Pinhead likes this.
  9. sturgus

    sturgus Forum Resident

    St. Louis Mo
    If you like it then it's cool!
  10. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    Without subs I can only imagine extra speakers can really add more power to your setup.

    A while back I tried to argue with the guys that ONE speaker sounds best when playing MONO .
    My idea of ONE speaker is one big huge speaker with several hundred watts driving it and filling the entire room up to concert levels.
    Most of the guys that said I was wrong about using just one speaker for mono were using tiny little home theater satellites and such.
    They missed the point simply because without all their other five speakers blasting away THEIR way of playing mono sounded weak and lacking power and bass.
    Mine didn't.

    So sometimes it ain't how big it is.
    And sometimes it IS how big it is!

    If you had twin 15 inch subs ( I have that PLUS two MORE subs just for mid-bass!) you might not need pro-logic to be impressed.
    Yeah---big speakers do stick out.
    I wish my speakers could disappear as large units always stick out from the standpoint of "decorating the room."
    But what can you do?
    At least my wife doesn't care as long as it sounds this good!

    HIRES_FAN Forum Resident

    I perform the sacrilegious act of upmixing 2 channel content to atmos/auro 3D in a 5.4.4 setup everyday....and holy schnikeys...does it sound good? You bet it does... My friends seem to enjoy this sacrilegious way of listening as well everytime i played it for them. You are not alone... We are united in living this impure kind of life :D
  12. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Still have two ears working

    S FL
    The only thing worse than a mono purist ( mono is the gold standard for music playback, why in the world would you want two sources of sound?) is a stereo purist ( you were born with two ears, not 7.1 ears)

    if you enjoy using Auro 3D to enhance the listening experience of stereo content, do it, and do it without guilt!

    we all have access to tons of music in stereo, some of it considered classic or iconic in its sound and mix. I love music in stereo.

    Those who say you must not mess or destroy it by up mixing to a surround presentation are stating their opinion. They don’t like it, and are offended if anyone would want to change that. That’s their opinion, no matter how close minded it is, to me.

    I don’t let someone’s opinion dampen my enjoyment of music, and will continue to consume it in the way I choose to.

    I love what Auro 3D does to stereo tv content, and it breathes new life into my favorite stereo music recordings. It can be incredibly revealing, allowing one to hear more details in the recording that are hidden in the original stereo presentation. The good news is that it’s non destructive, I can go back to a stereo listen with a push of a button. All is right in my universe!

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